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Monday, May 27, 2024

Kelani River polluted by 1,374 waste disposal sites

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Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stated that there are 1,374 waste disposal sites in the Kelani River area from Seethawaka to Peliyagoda.

The Minister expressed these views while participating in an inspection tour of the Kelani River yesterday (9) to identify the places where the Kelani River is polluted. The observation tour was organized in collaboration with the SL Navy, the Central Environmental Authority and a number of other agencies.

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has conducted a countrywide survey covering the entire river system of our country and according to the results of that survey the Kelani River is the most polluted river in our country and more than 80 percent of the population of Gampaha and Colombo meet their drinking water needs from this river, the Minister stressed.

The Minister further said, “So far no country in the world has implemented programs to conserve the entire river system in their country. Only the river Ganga was conserved by the Government of India under the Pavitri Ganga programme. Singapore is just one river. However, we have focused on the conservation of all 103 rivers in our country under the Surakimu Ganga program launched by the Ministry of Environment”.

He said the government allocated Rs.200 million for this in 2021. That amount has been increased to Rs. 2,000 million for 2022.

“There are 103 rivers in our country. According to the countrywide survey conducted by the Central Environmental Authority, 10,733 places are reported to be polluting the entire river system”.

He said the Kelani River is the most polluted river in our river system. It was confirmed that the Kelani River collects pollutants at 1,374 places including 797 polluting sites in the Colombo city area and 577 places in the Gampaha district.

The Minister also said that a special programme will be launched to control the discharge of waste into the Kelani River from the Seethawaka Industrial Zone. CEA DG Hemantha Jayasinghe and other officials also participated.

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